I’ve lived in the Philippines for over eight years. Married to a beautiful Filipina for over 18. Been blogging about life in the archipelago since August 2009. Get it straight from inside this kano’s fathead: “Top 5 Reasons for NOT Moving to the Philippines.”
5. Cheap Eats
If you enjoy inexpensive delicious food and drinks, you will not relish living in the Philippines. A quality beer costs a buck a bottle, or less. A meal for two, including drinks, at our favorite new restaurant in our island province costs less than 10 US dollars.
Moreover, our hangout, Oliva’s Kitchen, is a modern facility with working air conditioning and rivals some of the fanciest places I’ve even been to in the States. The staff is polite and attentive. Then again, if you don’t like cheap eats, the Philippines is definitely not the place for you.
Sure, you could plunk down four greenbacks and get an even cheaper meal for two at Lisa’s Talabahan, but Lisa’s beer is never cold and they only have a working fan or two.
The grilled pork is tasty and the ambiance is non-existent, but it’s still inexpensive dining, and probably wouldn’t be appealing to those looking for a three star Michelin restaurant. If you abhor cheap eats, avoid the Philippines.
4. Awesome Beaches
If you loath sandy white beaches with cobalt blue waters, the Philippines isn’t the place for you. Consistently ranked as two of the most awesome beaches on the planet are Boracay and El Nido in Palawan. Sadly, for you, beach hater, they’re both located in the Philippines.
Guimaras, the island province we call home, goes by the nickname of “Little Boracay” because of its amazing beaches. Guimaras is home to such posh resorts as the California Coral Beach Resort. Located on the island’s premier white sandy beach, Alubihod, in Buena Vista.
Over at the California Coral Beach Resort you can rent a lavish, well-appointed room just a few steps from the beach. The room comes with high ceilings, air conditioning, refrigerator, HD TV, Internet, warm shower, and complimentary coffee and bottled water. The cost, only 2,500 pesos, 50 US dollars (200 pesos each additional person.)
Photo Credit: California Coral Beach Resort
However, if you don’t enjoy plush amenities such as those offered at the California Coral Beach Resort and beautiful beaches and picturesque sunsets, you probably wouldn’t want to visit Guimaras or the Philippines.
3. Exotic Beauties
If you don’t enjoy being surrounded by exotic beauties and some of the most gorgeous women in the world, the Philippines probably shouldn’t be your retirement destination.
Look, if you’re only interested in someone’s personality or “inner” beauty, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Nonetheless, you’re going to have a problem in the Philippines.
Sadly, for you men looking for your average Western beauty, you’ll be disappointed in the Philippines. It’s brimming with striking Filipinas of all varieties: the stunning almond-eyed chinita, the noble mixed Filipino/foreign mestiza, the mocha-skinned morena and all the combinations thereof.
However, feel free to take the Philippines off your bucket list if beautiful women that view many foreigners as celebrities offends your sensibilities.
2. “Filipino Time”
If you’re obsessed with always being punctual and like to get things done in a hurry, the Philippines gives you another reason never to move here: “Filipino Time.”
In the past eight years that I’ve lived in the Philippines with my lovely Filipina bride of over 18 years, I’ve only attended one official function that actually started on time. School gatherings are the worst. I attended our niece’s high school graduation several years ago. It began 90 minutes late!
I dread this coming April. Our niece is graduating from college now and will receive her Teacher’s Degree. If the event starts on time, it will be a miracle comparable to the parting of the Red Sea by Moses.
Moreover, don’t think that any get-togethers with other expats will start on time. The foreigners have Filipina wives or girlfriends.
“Filipino Time” is embedded in the Philippine culture. It will never change. So if you like a tight time schedule and not getting even the simplest tasks accomplished in a reasonable time frame, forget about it. The Philippines is NOT the place for you.
But I’ve learned to adapt (somewhat.) You have to. Otherwise, you’ll reach the brink of insanity very rapidly.
1. The Good Life
Now the best reason to never move to the Philippines is a simple phrase, “The Good Life.” The good life is a term for the life that one would like to live. A happy life. The Greek philosopher Socrates proclaimed that all men desire happiness.
Nevertheless, the question remains: what exactly constitutes a happy life, a good life? Again, we go to Socrates who stated, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
Herein lies the rub: what does “the good life” mean to you.
- Material possessions
Everyone’s definitions of “the good life” is different. Free will? We all have it. Some people, like myself, choose to pursue a radically different lifestyle and move to a Third World Country like the Philippines. In the Philippines, I’ve discovered “the good life.” Moreover, thanks to my loyal, loving Filipina wife, I’ve been living that life for many years now.
The American Dream in the Philippines
Did I have it in the States? To a much lesser degree. In the Philippines, I’ve truly achieved the so-called “American Dream.” Living in the Philippines has allowed my spouse and me many things we could not obtain in the USA.
We could never afford a full-time domestic helper back in Central Illinois. We can in the Philippines. With five people and eight dogs in our household, my spouse needs the extra help. It’s not a status symbol for us it’s a necessity.
We live in a 4,000 sq. ft. home on three acres with a swimming pool in the backyard. Again, we could never afford that in the States.
However, the biggest advantage for me is the fact that I was able to retire at the age of 57 and live a comfortable lifestyle in the Philippines. The Good Lord, my wife, and the Philippines has made that all possible.
Nonetheless, if you enjoy making that daily commute on the Interstate, paying high taxes, and putting up with a demanding boss, then the Philippines isn’t for you.